H.M.S.O. Sovereign House.

I’ve been banging on about Anglia Square for some time now, mainly because it’s been hanging in the balance for what seems like an eternity but also because the scales of its future are now about to tip one way or another – but don’t worry – I’m not going to go off on one again about it all as I’ve written more than my fair share of opinions about the development lately. This will just be a fairly simple post put together to share some (actually, a load of) fantastic images taken of the area on which Anglia Square was built as Sovereign House reached for the sky back in the late 1960’s.

These pictures were kindly provided by Reg Walker, a former H.M.S.O. employee and guardian of the HMSOldies website who I had the fortune of meeting whilst being part of a film shot inside the abandoned Sovereign House back in 2012. To me this is a brilliant collection of high-quality images that offer us a fascinating insight in to what we currently refer to as Anglia Square and I’ll add a few notes to some of the images to highlight some of the interesting details that can be spotted if you look a little closer. Continue reading “H.M.S.O. Sovereign House.”

Mary Jacobs, now and then.

Reduced 75 Valpey

Just a brief entry to show that I haven’t disappeared completely. I’ve had my fingers in far too many pies of late and haven’t had time to concentrate on one thing long enough to form anything coherant enough to form one of my usual long and rambling entries.

This merging of two photographs – or ‘Ghost’ image – is of a Mary Jacobs, standing at the gate of her recently acquired Valpy Avenue home.

Back then – for reasons unknown to me – the area in which all of the houses South of Drayton Road and to the West of Havers Road were referred to as ‘The Drayton Estate’ and not Mile Cross, even though they were built by the same builders and on the same piece of purchased farmland as the rest of the estate.

It’s likely that before moving into this house Mary would have lived in one of the yards and slums around (or not too far from) the area that is now known as Anglia Square.

These new houses must have been a dream come true to former residents of the slums; they had fresh, running water; loads of space, big gardens for growing fruit and veg, indoor toilets and this particular row, a fantastic view of the Wensum Valley, complete with regular Steam engines puffing through the middle of all that scenery – a far cry from the unsanitary conditions, gloom and squalor, typical of those old and cramped yards closer to the city centre.

Mary passed away in 1938, but her family remained in this home for many years after.

Original image supplied by Mary’s Granddaughter, Susan McClarence, who informs me that her sister was born behind those very walls.

Until I can find the time to write something a little more in-depth, thanks for looking.

Stu.

Yashica Mat – another old camera.

After having a lot of fun with my charity shop EOS500 and then retrofitting 35mm film into an old Kodak Brownie I decided it was time to buy myself a ‘proper’ film camera, a medium format camera that took 120 film. I decided to take the plunge and sell my backup SLR (Canon 6D) and replace it with a plastic and metal box from the 1970’s or 1980’s and a high-end Epson flatbed scanner with which to scan my negatives.

The little black box:Yash1 Continue reading “Yashica Mat – another old camera.”

David Jackson rides the Wensum Dipper

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Just across the River from Mile Cross and within spitting distance of the Dolphin footpath is another well-trodden path to help get us “Miley’s” over the Wensum and into the City. Continue reading “David Jackson rides the Wensum Dipper”

Kodak Brownie 127. Sort of…

It’s been a while since my last post but that’s because I’ve had my fingers in so many little pies that I haven’t had the chance to stop long enough to concentrate on any one thing. Anyway, before my next post about Mile Cross (yes, there is one on the way) is this post about a little Kodak Brownie 127 that was given to me on New Years Eve. I was with a lovely lady named Cecilé, who was showing me around the barn at the back of her pub, The Marlpit Arms – the barn section of which will hopefully be part of a wedding venue overlooking the nearby meadow when planning is granted – anyway, I digress. As Cecilé was showing me her grand plans for the barn, I spotted an old Kodak Brownie 127 sat on a dusty window ledge that didn’t look like it had been moved for decades. Cecilé kindly let me have the old camera and I took it home with me. On closer inspection I found that – unfortunately – there was no film inside and no mystery photos from the past for me to develop. I put it on the shelf with the rest of the camera gear and decided that I would take to Google to see if I could find some 127 film to fit it.Brownie0 Continue reading “Kodak Brownie 127. Sort of…”

EOS 500 35mm follow up

I wrote a post a couple of months ago about how I’d dusted off the old 35mm Canon I’d found in a charity shop a few years back. The more I used it, the more it started to fail, making me realise I was beginning to waste money on a pointless venture. It costs about £20 to buy some film and get it developed and scanned, and my last attempt gave me about 6 usable pictures out of a roll of 36. Continue reading “EOS 500 35mm follow up”